Kitchen Nightmares: Finn McCool's in Westhampton, NY

Ahhhh, Kitchen Nightmares was back in New York state this week. All is right in the world. Well, except for the Finn McCool's restaurant of course.

The restaurant is owned by a pushover named Buddy who has let his two sons help him run it into the ground. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, Buddy wants help from Gordon. The sad thing is that he needs Gordon to help him with his two sons -- Jason and Brian. Jason is the bar manager and while he's a nice guy he seems better suited working at a children's daycare than in a restaurant. Brian is the head chef and a complete ass. He's an awful cook, is cocky and disrespectful, and basically said he could care less if the restaurant goes down in flames because it's not his restaurant. Yeah, he's one of those guys.

After Gordon showed up to Finn McCool's and introduced himself, it was time for the test taste. Unfortunately for him, he ordered Irish spring rolls, roasted salmon with a balsamic reduction, and a shepherd's pie. He was able to keep a bite or two down of the nasty spring rolls and dry salmon but when it came to the shepherd's pie it was a no go. Not long after taking a bite of the greasy pie, poor Gordon had to go pray to the porcelain god. I don't know about you but that's not a very good start.

Later, Gordon (after hopefully brushing his teeth) talked to Brian about the quality of his food. Really he told him it sucked but guess what? Brian didn't care what Gordon had to say. The next day, Gordon left to invite the local firemen to come to dinner that night as his guest. He wanted to see what they had to say and how Buddy and his gang could handle the service. After a much needed kitchen detox, it was time for dinner service and there were no customers. Wait! Here come the firemen now to save the night.

Well, they could have saved the night except the service was awful and the food was horrible. It took them an hour to even get their food and when they did it was cold. The most disgusting part of this entire segment was how the sous chef, Frances, dropped a chicking wing on the floor and then picked it back up and put it in the pan with the other little wings. I loved the playback in slow motion spotlighting the wing's fall from glory. Good job Fox! Frances' explanation for putting it back in the pan? The fryer will sterilize it while cooking. Gordon was appalled (as was I) but head chef and head idiot Brian thought it was funny.

The next day, Gordon met with Buddy about the state of his restaurant and the state of his finances. My jaw almost hit the floor when he said he was losing $20,000 per month in keeping the place open. He was honest in saying that he'd fire Brian if he wasn't family though. Just wow.

Later, Gordon pared down the menu and "tweaked" the shepherd's pie. Actually, he replaced it with his own recipe because Brian's version sucked. That evening during dinner service, Brian bgean htitnig the bozoe if you know what I mean and got a little testy with Gordon. His father and owner of the restaurant tried to step in and calm him down but Brian wasn't having any of it. He quit and sped away in his high class white painter's van leaving Buddy to pick up the pieces in the kitchen. Of course, Buddy couldn't cook for nothing.

Gordon sat down to speak to Brian the next day about his behavior and wound up feeling sorry for him because his father had no clue about running a restaurant and all the pressure that was put on him. Boohoo. After sprucing up the place on somebody else's dime, it was time for Gordon to make the big reveal. They now have a sign out front and they're ready for the big grand opening.

The firemen were back for dinner as well as everybody else in town it seemed that night. The local food critic, Sabrina, was even there. As always, things were a complete and utter mess at the beginning of service. There were the usual long waits for food creating the slow turnover of tables causing the departure of the ones waiting to catch a glimpse of Gordon enjoy the Irish fare. Two-and-a-half hours into service, they finally began to get it together and managed to end on a somewhat positive note. The snobby food critic loved her food so much that she said it was worth the wait. Psst, Gordon probably made it himself.

That night, Gordon left behind a family that had finally come together to work for the good of their family and the good of their pocketbooks. Brian crying about Gordon helping him get his spark back was a tad too much to take for me though. The end of the show gave us an update on the family pub saying that two months after Gordon had left, the restaurant was doing much better and the shepherd's pie was the talk of the town. Buddy was even finally able to pay himself for the first time. Hmm, what happened to all that debt he had?

Next week, the show's in Pomona, CA. It seems they have a chef from "the hood" (they used the term not me) who can't take criticism, an owner that's run out of money, and a busboy with sticky fingers. Should be interesting!

What did you think of this week's Kitchen Nightmares? Would you have fired Brian if he was your son running your place into the ground?


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HamsterDame's blogs: Silly Reality and Silly Hamsters.